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The Humble Brag

The 10 worst offenses of online parent gloating

By Rhiana Maidenberg |

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  • The Humble Brag

    The Humble Brag: The 10 worst offenses of online parent gloating Ah, the “humble brag.” While pretending we’re embarrassed about how blessed we are has probably happened since the dawn of man, the Internet, Twitter and Facebook have turned gloating into its own art form. These days, the humble brag has become ubiquitous.  Parenting forums are overloaded with parents seeking "advice" for their talented children, status updates complain about burdens most of us would love to have. While I understand that all of us — even the inordinately blessed — need some reassurance now and then, I also know I’m muttering at my screen a lot lately. In an effort to stop, I’ve culled a few of the worst offenders from my feed, and added the response I’d like to post. Here they are, in no particular order.

  • The Humble Brag

    "My 19-month-old won’t stop talking. It is driving me crazy!"

    The Humble Brag: I'm my 19-month-old won't stop talking.  It is driving me crazy!

    Really? Define crazy. Because I’m pretty sure that even from here, I can see you shudder with delight over each “word” he says, be it “ball” or “ba .”

  • The Humble Brag

    "My husband is so thoughtless.  He had his secretary buy me a Tiffany's bracelet for Mother's Day."

    The Humble Brag: My husband is so thoughtless.  He had his secretary buy me a Tiffany's bracelet for Mother's Day

    That must be really hard for you! I felt similarly when my husband forgot the day altogether.

  • The Humble Brag

    "I was so sick during my pregnancy.  I only was able to gain 10 pounds!"

    The Humble Brag: My husband is so thoughtless.  He had his secretary buy me a Tiffany's bracelet for Mother's Day How horrible! You must have lost all your baby weight within the first two weeks! I, on the other hand, gained 50, so I was able to work it off for months and months.

  • The Humble Brag

    "Help! My 18-month-old insists on pooping in the potty, and I'm not ready to potty-train!"

    The Humble Brag: Help! My 18-month-old insists on pooping in the potty, and I'm not ready to potty-train!

    Poor you, you must really miss wiping poopy bottoms. Maybe he will have an accident — cross your fingers! 

  • The Humble Brag

    "I just dropped my children off for a week at the grandparents. What will I do without them?"

    The Humble Brag: I just dropped my children off for a week at the grandparents.  What will I do without them? I can think of a few things: Sleep in, eat in peace, read a book without pictures, watch television shows other than Curious George and Super Why … should I keep going? Fine. Get a mani-pedi, get a bottle of wine, have sex in the living room …

  • The Humble Brag

    "I am so tired of being asked if I am my childrens' nanny.  I can't help that I look so young."

    The Humble Brag: I am so tired of being asked if I am my childrens' nanny.  I can't help that I look so young. You’re right, that totally sucks. On the other hand, giving birth aged me four years in just fourteen hours. Which sucks more.

  • The Humble Brag

    "My 2-month-old already sleeps through the night.  Should I be waking her to nurse?"

    The Humble Brag: My 2-month-old already sleeps through the night.  Should I be waking her to nurse?

    Are you kidding me? Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep must be really taxing on you! You should book a massage.

  • The Humble Brag

    "Whenever I take my child anywhere, strangers always stop us to admire her.  I can't even go grocery shopping in peace!"

    The Humble Brag: Whenever I take my child anywhere, strangers always stop us to admire her.  I can't even go grocery shopping in peace!
    Maybe you should try having her wear a ski mask. I hear that this look is coming back with the toddler crowd.

  • The Humble Brag

    "How do I support my best friend whose toddler is developmentally delayed, when my own is so advanced?"

    The Humble Brag: How do I support my best friend whose toddler is developmentally delayed, when my own is so advanced?

    Well, for starters, you should be sure to always mention your child’s milestones whenever you get together, and announce her superior abilities on every technological medium available. Other mothers love that!

  • The Humble Brag

    "My husband is really annoying me.  He wants to be so involved in the child rearing."

    The Humble Brag: My husband is really annoying me.  He wants to be so involved in the child rearing.

    I know, right?! Last weekend, after 18 holes of golf, my husband insisted on putting the girls to bed! SO ANNOYING.

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About Rhiana Maidenberg

bcrhianamaidenberg

Rhiana Maidenberg

Rhiana Maidenberg is a freelance writer, escaping her two young daughters by writing in various San Francisco coffee shops. In her blog, Married with Toddlers, Rhiana explores the challenges of raising toddlers and husbands in the current super-mommy, super-wife, super-everything environment.

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33 thoughts on “The Humble Brag

  1. Anonymous says:

    The humble brag: not just for parents

  2. Olivia says:

    Um, actually a few of these seem like legit concerns or complaints. Who really wants to be sick for 9 months straight? And a 2 month old sleeping all the way thru the night can be a concern to a breastfeeding mother who wants to keep her supply up.

  3. Pam says:

    My 2yr old just read this list out loud. It’s so frustrating. I’ve told him not to read adult sites. Lol jk When I brag, I just do it the old fashioned way, “My kid is better than yours!” :)

  4. bubblecup says:

    I love this! The babycenter.com message boards are especially egregious in this regard, populated almost exclusively by mothers of eye-poppingly precocious prodigies. Based on a random sampling of some of these moms, the next generation will be either the most talented one ever, or the most insufferably conceited. Or, to be fair, possibly both.

  5. Crimson Wife says:

    Actually, I would trade 9 months of morning-, noon-, and night-sickness for gaining 50 lbs. during my pregnancy in a heartbeat. Winding up in the ER with an IV in one’s arm multiple times is no picnic, let me tell you. Did it ever occur to you that the mom you think is “bragging” might be venting instead?

  6. Twinmom says:

    Yeah the pregnancy weight gaining one can be offensive to some women. I was pregnant with twins on a high risk pregnancy after infertility. I gained the exact amount of weight I was supposed to gain 50 pounds but I had to really try at it. The worst would be when people out in public would tell me “You are too small to have twins!” Like so they either are telling me they think my babies will die, that I need to be constantly stuffing my face or that they think I am lying to them. It got offensive. It was not about bragging for me. I was just glad to be pregnant and having twins. I didn’t care about how fat or not fat I got.

  7. Trisha says:

    My favorite: “My 4-year-old refuses to listen to kiddie music! Nothing but [insert your favorite current or past hip band here] for here. What am I going to do?!”

  8. Cin says:

    Seriously, you need to re-examine your priorities if you think being sick and only gaining 10 pounds is a “humble brag.” We who have suffered through hyperemesis gravidarum would LOVE to gain 50 pounds, not have to get IV fluids, not have to take the anti-vomiting drugs they give cancer patients, niot need semi-permenent lines shoved into the vein of our arms, and not have to worry about our babies’ dying of starvation. Educate yourself — we call these kinds of comments “crackers.” http://www.helpher.org

  9. goldenheart says:

    Should be a postive brag not a neg or bad brag..Be happy that your baby is sleeping through night, be happy that your kid is talking, Understand that kids learn at their own pace.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I get how many of you think that the pregnancy weight gain “humble brag” may be offensive, but as the writer of this piece, and the perpetrator of said brag (I was sick and only gained 12 pounds with my second child), I was gloating a bit that was able to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans one week post partum.

  11. Rhiana Maidenberg says:

    Oops, didn’t mean to comment anonymously.

  12. cin says:

    That mau be true, but by putting that “brag” in here you are perpetuating the sick and twisted idea that it is better to be sick, even life-threateningly sick, thamn to gain a normal, healthy amount of weight while pg.
    Since you had a normal pgcy, you can’t understand how incredibly hurtful and dangerous this attitude can be for HGers. People often dismiss the severity of the illness by saying: but you’re so lucky not to get fat while pg!
    Believe me, 0I would trade 50 lbs for my weight loss, dehydration and terror for mu baby anyday.

  13. Kate says:

    Ahh yes. The no kiddie music brag. If I had a dime for every time I heard that one… So annoying. I actually like that my child likes children’s music. It’s age appropriate and fun. Plus, just like it is fun for him to have a chair that is his size, it’s fun for him to have music that is about things he cares about – like peanut butter sandwiches and garbage trucks and the fact that cows say ‘moo’.

    I relish how utterly uncool my son is.

  14. Beth says:

    I’ve dealt with the whole people stopping to admire my daughter one, and it’s not fun at times. I truly appreciate how happy she is, but being stopped all the time for people to comment on that gets hard. I’m trying to accomplish something and having a cute baby bullseye can derail that in a second. On the other hand, while I don’t like it, I also wouldn’t Facebook about it either

  15. Anonymous says:

    I realize humble bragging moms are the ones whose parenting I would never emulate and their husbands are cheating!! Lol. Okay I am cranky!

  16. Christina says:

    I find this article a little offensive!

  17. Gemma says:

    The fact that you only gained 12 lbs. (and were happy about it) doesn’t make up for the fact that this is still offensive. Most women (myself included) would never wish a 10 lb. weight gain during pregnancy on anyone. It is a sign that something is wrong, and the anxiety that most women would feel over not gaining enough weight, with or without medical problems arising, overshadows the “joy” of fitting into your pre-baby jeans. How about you apologize rather than saying “I get it, but..” which negates any sincere form of acceptance that you may be in the wrong.

  18. simbasim says:

    WOW, I kinda enjoyed the sarcasm. I gained 75lbs during preg and here i am 13 months later still trying to lose it. Dr blame it on GD but unfortunately the current guidelines they were not able to diagnose. With that said, I delivered by child 2 1/2 weeks early because of preeclampsia and wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Sorry if I find it amusing but everyone else’s life has gone back to the same while I am still trying to lose the weight. thanks for the morning laugh!

  19. Anon E Moose says:

    I actually LOST 10 pounds with my first pregnancy. It was a sign that I was overweight to begin with, NOT a sign that “something was wrong.” And I lost 26 pounds after delivery. Bragbragbrag.

  20. Gemma says:

    @Anon, sorry, I should have put that it is usually a sign that something is wrong. If you are not overweight to begin with, it’s generally not a good thing to gain such a small amount of weight. Congrats to you though on getting healthier during and after pregnancy. (And clever name, by the way)

  21. Laura says:

    LOVED THIS!

    Dang – some commenters are so sensitive!

  22. Jen says:

    I have hyperemesis and am struggling to gain weight with constant vomiting. The vomiting is so intense I’ve burst the blood vessels in my eyes, vomited blood, given myself nose bleeds and ended up in hospital attached to an iv for dehydration. I lost weight rapidly the first four months and am now trying as much as possible to gain weight because being underweight puts me at risk of premature labour.

    I would rather gain 60 pounds anyday than the torture I have been through, I consider women who can gain a healthy weight during pregnancy lucky!

  23. Anonymous says:

    To #4: 18 month old pooping in the potty, be glad the child has skipped that step. My son is ashamed when he poops his pull-up, so I find them under the table, rubbed in the carptet, etc, and find him trying to get into the bath unoticed. To #10: My husband walked out because he “couldn’t handle it” anymore. It’s good to see that some men still enjoy being an active part of thier kids lives. Plus, it’s good for children to have thier father be an active part of thier lives. My son thinks he can hit his next time he sees him, even thought I”ve told him that we don’t hit.

  24. Anonymous says:

    On #7, that actually sounds like a pretty legitimate statement and question. She doesn’t sound like she’s bragging. Maybe she’s a first time mom and she’s learning as she goes. And I was very sick during my pregnancy and only gained 13 lbs. I’m not bragging…I’m just sayin….Some of these I agree that it’s borderline bragging, especially the “Tiffany’s” one, but it also sounds like you may be a little jealous and judgemental. You don’t actually know these women and know what they deal with in real life. You only know what they say online. I wouldn’t be so quick to judge….

  25. Lori says:

    I used to brag my kids were perfect, then I grew up =]

  26. Anonymous says:

    My baby slept through the night by 2 months old and I didn’t know if I should be waking her up or what. I was nursing and I found it all so confusing. I think that is a normal question

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  28. joe d says:

    i lost weight and went to the ob/gyn and he told me this was not the time to go on a diet. so i started eating fattier food and the next visit he said you are gaining too much weight. what’s a woman to do?

  29. Texas Mom of Two under Two says:

    Taking this article as I hoped it was intended, a light hearted comment on the social medianess of all of our lives, especially moms of young children, I cracked the heck up. I wish my husband was remotely involved. If he even took one night of feedings off my hands I think I would cry in joy and appreciation.

  30. I Have A Username says:

    I can understand how such comments can be annoying to mother’s everywhere, but on a slightly different note; am I the only one who thought the author’s husband sounds like a fucking douchebag? Raising children is the responsibility of BOTH parents.

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